Academic Skills

Workshops are one-off, small-group sessions where students sharpen their academic skills and try out new study strategies with the help of a CLAS tutor. Each workshop focuses on a specific topic, whether it be tactics and strategies or general mindset. Check the workshop schedule and sign up via MyCLAS using the "Sign Up & Enroll" button at the top of this page.

Workshops are held in person in SRB 3282. Additionally, pre-recorded workshops are available online on Shoreline on the Campus Learning Assistance Services page.

Workshops by Request
You can request an academic skills workshop of your choice for your student organization or group! Just complete the Academic Skills Workshop Request Form at least one full week before your preferred time and date. Both in-person and virtual workshops are available. For questions, email Emma Cristofani.

Consultations are individual appointments with an academic skills specialist. Consultations can focus on specific issues like making a study plan but can also address more general topics, such as how to be successful at UCSB. Check the Skills Appointments and sign up via MyCLAS using the "Sign Up & Enroll" button at the top of this page. 

In-person and online options are available for appointments. Students who sign up for remote appointments will receive a link to their Zoom consultation in an email after signing up. 

GRE Preparation workshops for each part of the exam are available on the Campus Learning Assistance Service Shoreline! You can also set up an individual skills appointment with Jay Stemmle (for Verbal Reasoning) or Emma Cristofani (for Analytical Writing or Quantitative Reasoning).


website counter


Online learning

To face the challenges of online learning, CLAS has self-guided workshops available through the links below.  Each one has step-by-step exercises for learning on line and time management.  No need to sign up; just click and learn.

Learning Online (video)

Learning Online (activity)

Time Management (activity)


Eleven Powers that a Mapache Brings to Class

Make a Study Plan
In this workshop expect to share, develop, or discover your methods for close-reading your syllabi and Gaucho-space pages in order to 

  • Understand what you are being asked to think about, learn, and deliver.
  • Establish what you should do every week to sustain learning throughout the quarter.
  • Strategize methods and pacing for review and preparation for major tests and assignments.

Time Management

Come to this workshop to talk about and trouble-shoot how you organize your time (or don’t). If you are behind, missing deadlines or missing sleep, come to this workshop expecting to 

  • Analyze your own time-management practices for strengths and weaknesses.
  • Learn how to protect your life-work balance, by finding and protecting your best free time.
  • Develop your personalized system by evaluating a variety of time management tools.

Lecture Strategies

This workshop will invite you to analyze your before-, during-, and after-processes in the context of the specific lecture conditions that you are facing.  Bring your notes, recordings, syllabi and lecture-generated study-guides to 

  • Decide how to prepare for lecture for maximum comprehension while listening.
  • Develop your strategies for rapid information capture that enhances intense listening.
  • Develop efficient means of lecture review and indexing to allow for retrieval and self-testing.

Reading Efficiency 

This workshop is about achieving the goals of reading as quickly as that is possible for you.  Whether you are completely bogged down or a master at getting in and out of a text with the goods in tow, come to this workshop to 

  • Talk about the purposes of your reading assignments in terms of course ideas and demands.
  • Compare different note-taking regimens for improvement of focus and comprehension.
  • Develop your strategies for intensive review and/or retrieval of read materia

Test Readiness

There is a special span of days (sometimes weeks, occasionally hours) before any kind of timed assessment—a test, a quiz, an exam, a presentation—when a mapache wants to be doing everything possible to be on point at the moment.  Come to this workshop to

  • Troubleshoot your idea of your tests.  Have you missed anything?
  • Troubleshoot your ideas about timing.  When should you review? Why?
  • Develop the strategy of your review, considering topics to revisit and review activities.

Citing Sources 

This workshop presents citations as a means of giving credit where credit is due, of making research reproduceable, and of demonstrating learning and professionalism.  Come to this workshop to develop and/or share your skills at 

  • Identifying where you should place citations to acknowledge the words and ideas of others.
  • Using MLA, APA, and Chicago Style citation systems to promote scholarly tranparency.
  • Producing well-formatted and complete citations for a variety of source materials.

Confronting Confusion

Scholarship is about the cycle of coming from confusion to clarity and/or, in the more advanced course, confusion to discovery.  Sometimes the refusal to look away from confusion, to keep struggling for coherence, is downright heroic.  So, come to this workshop if you want to

  • Talk about how to stay calm and amused when facing confusion even under deadlines.
  • Practice isolating, categorizing, and weighing the importance of confusing bits.
  • Compare methods for expanding comprehension through targeted inquiry.

Fighting Procrastination 

This workshop approaches procrastination as complex behavior that affects almost all people in at least one area of life.  It is attached to intra-personal conflicts that will not be resolved during the workshop.  Rather, the workshop will invite you to

  • Examine your most damaging areas of procrastination and how you mitigate the risks.
  • Develop your capacity to notice and work with the internal energies that stall you out.
  • Share and/or develop your “special treatment plan” for work that is likely to be procrastinated.


This workshop seeks to help you sustain attention to academic tasks when possible and to help you cope when you can sustain attention for only periods of short duration.  Bring the work that you most do not want to do so you can

  • Find out whether you are as aware as you might be of the things that break your concentration.
  • Share and develop strategies for mitigating or eliminating external and internal distractions.
  • Exchange methods for building stamina in academic concentration.  


This workshop focuses on helping students to make connections between their highest aspirations and the work of today.  Beginning with a private meditation on those aspirations, you and your fellow mapaches will 

  • Practice articulating your goals even if you think you don’t have any or if they are embarrassing.
  • Share and/or develop strategies for generating interest, desire, or amusement.
  • Exchange ways to link even the most tedious of classes to what you really want to do or be.


This workshop introduces you to two constructs of academic confidence: self-efficacy, and self-concept.  After taking and scoring yourself on questionnaires designed to measure these kinds of confidence, you and your fellow students will 

  • Talk about how to identify and interrogate the sources of weak self-concept in your courses.
  • Compare experiences with relevant and irrelevant threats to self-efficacy.
  • Develop strategies for honest self-evaluation that leaves positive self-concept intact.